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Tuesday, June 25, 2024
HomeTRANSPORT REVIEWSAirport TransfersUber Or Train from Vancouver Airport? Depends on How Many People

Uber Or Train from Vancouver Airport? Depends on How Many People

Vancouver Airport Bag Storage is part of the Bula! Fiji Hub Trip Report.

Conventional TPOL thinking is to avoid taxis at all expense (see “Taxi my friend?” The Worst Places to Hail a Cab) because it is such a great expense. At airports, I struggle with whether I should take public transportation or pay more for the more ‘convenient’ taxi option. I put convenient in quotes because it is often the case that taxis cost more and take longer due to traffic (see JFK AirTrain: Why Mess with Uber to Manhattan?).

Arriving in Vancouver for one day of exploration before my flight to Fiji (see Worth It! Lie Flat Toronto to Vancouver on Air Canada), I dropped off my bags (see Bag Storage Vancouver Airport) and then followed the signs for the Skytrain. At the ticket counter, I realized that:

1. I have no idea how to use this machine. Once again, I was worried about purchasing the wrong ticket and being fined (see “Tickets, Please, Tickets”: Train Anxiety).

2. I have no idea where I am going. Fortunately, a friendly police offer saw me struggling and suggested that I go to the Waterfront.

a machine with a screen and a map
The Waterfront is located in Zone 2.
a large sign in a parking lot
Makes sense that the Waterfront would be at the end of the line.

The cost of the tickets for 3 people was $21. That’s when it occurred to me to check how much it would have been with Uber.

a screenshot of a phone

For $3 USD more, we could have taken an Uber and, minus traffic, arrived 9 minutes earlier. For two people, the train would be the right choice.


Absent more passengers or too many bags, taking public transport over taxis should always be considered first. In Vancouver, we took a the train from the airport but Ubered back.



  1. The train back to the airport from Waterfront would have only been $4.55 CAD per person (assuming peak time, less if not), and almost certainly quicker than a rideshare. There’s a surcharge for leaving the airport, but not for going to the airport.

    • I typically will take public transport from the airport but then Uber on the way back because I can’t be bothered to find the metro station (unless it’s right in front of me). Here, we had traversed the entire city then ended up in the Olympic Village. One bottle of wine later, Uber was the best choice.

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